It’s that time of year again to apply for internships!
Whether you want further experience in a particular field or a bridge to a future job, internships are a great way to spend your vacation. There are many benefits from partaking in a vacation internship experience:
- It allows you to gain industry experience (which is useful in making your decision about what industry you wish to work in).
- Many of the internship positions are paid – and paid well! In many cases you earn the graduate wage over the period you work.
- It is a great opportunity to network and make valuable connections (in the commerce industry it is just as much about whom you know as what you know).
- It looks great on your resume when applying for jobs.
- It is a useful reference point, for when you go back to study, to put into context what you are learning.
There is great value is securing yourself an internship. Here are some good tips to consider when applying:
- Record all the application closing dates, so when it comes time to apply you are not rushed.
- Apply widely. The more applications you submit the greater the chance of getting an interview.
- Think broadly. There are many institutions and sectors that offer internships. There are banks (and not just the big 4), accounting firms, investment banks, financial institutions, federal and state government bodies, consulting firms and international governing bodies (such as the IMF or WTO).
- Keep an up to date CV. You never know when you might need to give it to someone at short notice.
- Don’t be disheartened if you get knocked back. You will get better with each application.
- Don’t be dishonest with your application. Only say you did something if you actually did! The person interviewing you will ask questions about your achievements and responsibilities, and will work out pretty quickly whether you have been dishonest with your application.
- Most applications are accompanied by an online test (numerical, verbal and diagrammatical). The more of these tests you do the better you will get. Don’t cheat in these tests (by getting help from a friend) because you will be made to repeat them under supervision if you get to the interview stage.
Make sure you get onto your applications soon; the more time you have to prepare the better the chances you have of getting an interview. When you get to the interview stage a few thing to remember are:
- Get there on time. You don’t want to feel rushed when you arrive and you never want to keep the interviewers waiting.
- Wear professional, but comfortable, clothing. This means your clothes should be clean, well fitted and ironed, and your shoes should be polished. Usually you should be conservatively dressed (don’t wear a bright red shirt).
- Practice interview questions with a friend. Think of possible answers to questions they might ask; especially scenarios where you have demonstrated leadership or worked as part of a team to solve a problem etc.
- Greet the interviewer with a firm handshake, a smile and eye contact.
- Answer the questions clearly and accurately. Don’t change their question around to one you had a prepared answer to.
- If they ask you a mathematics question, don’t be afraid to ask for a pen and paper if you need it.
- Keep calm and carry on. Even if you feel you answered a question poorly or you get flustered, try collect yourself and keep going. The interviewer doesn’t expect you to be perfect and they understand if you’re nervous.
The more you do, the better you will get at them.
Written by Timothy Ryan
Peer Writing Tutor
BCom (third year, Economics)
The Peer writing Tutor program is provided through the FBE Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT):